Saturday, 22 March 2014

Six things new students should be thinking about when moving into Accommodation

So, now you’re a student. Congratulations. You’ve committed the next few years of your life to the pursuit of education. And possibly to drinking. But mainly education.

Yes. Education. That’s right.

Chances are you’re about to move into halls of residence. This is going to be a new and daunting experience for you. It’s exciting, but at the same time, you’ve not got the safety net of your parents around. What happens if things go….bad?

Really bad.

Here are few things to consider when moving into student accommodation….

Take only what you need.

You’re going to be doing a lot of 
packing. However, do you really need to take that waffle toaster? Chances are you’re going to be living in a smaller space than you are used to, so space is something you need to think about. Taking only the essentials (clothing, study materials etc.) is recommended. You can most likely purchase the rest online, at a much cheaper cost to you. Or checking out websites such as FreeCycle.

Traffic cones are optional.

Clean everything. 
And keep it clean.
You don’t know who lived in the room before you. They might have been hygienic. They might not. Do you really want to take that chance? Even though it looks clean, it’s highly recommended that you give your room a once over again. From top to bottom. What we’re saying is pull every piece of furniture up, clean inside, around under everything you possibly can.

You know, just in case.

Take pictures
The joy of modern technology means you’ll have access to a camera almost anytime. Like right now, there’s probably one on your phone next to you. When you arrive in your new digs, immediately take pictures of the entire room. Any scratch, burn, blemish or dent mustbe recorded with a time stamp. This way, if any officials come calling, you have all the proof to show you were not responsible for any damage.

Seriously. It was like that when I got here.

Check what you have to pay for. And what you don’t.
It’s always a good idea to scope out the financial situation when you arrive. Have a TV? Make sure you find out if you have to pay for a licence. You might think Halls have this covered. They don’t. Same with part time jobs. It’s prudent to find out your entitlements and tax allowances before you set up shop earning an income. For example, you must pay National Insurance if you earn over £149.00 per week. Research everything so you’re not biting the money bullet further down the line.

Whilst on the subject of finances, it’s highly recommended you invest some money into contents insurance. Think about it. You are sharing a house or halls with four other people. You’re out a lot meeting and socialising in the beginning. To thieves in the areas, you are like curry to a drunk person. Irresistible.
To them, they’ve potentially got an easy score consisting of:
Five laptops.
Five MP3 players.
Five games consoles.
You get the point. Basically, get some basic insurance to cover you in case of burglary.

But, but…he had trustworthy eyes!

Assert yourself, but not too much
When you arrive, people will be sizing other people up. Personality, sense of humour etc. Of course you want to be friendly, but you don’t want to be a walking doormat. It’s important that you assert yourself as a tough, but fair individual, especially in house sharing situations.Otherwise, you might find all the menial jobs (bill paying, communal space cleaning, landlord correspondence) falling squarely at your feet. Every time.
Establish that you’re willing to do your share, but that’s itearly. Otherwise you’ll be using up a lot of your time doing tasks whilst your housemates get to go and have fun.

Written by Mike Price on behalf of Boxes2Move, providing a selection of high quality, flat packed cardboard boxes for moving and storage.


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